Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) Kelsey Theatre invites theater goers of all ages to escape to the theater for this year’s line-up of hilarious comedies, serious dramas, family and adult musicals, and shows for the younger set. Artistic Director M. Kitty Getlik and all the staff at Kelsey Theatre are preparing to bring up the curtain on a blockbuster 44th season.
“Our audiences can expect mysteries that will keep them on the edge of their seats, musicals that will have them dancing in the aisles, and laughs that will keep on coming. It’s all part of the unique magic of live performance that you can’t get on any digital device! And, there is no bad seat in the house at Kelsey Theatre,” Getlik says.
Kelsey Theatre is located on MCCC’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. In keeping with the college’s goal to offer high quality, affordable theater for all, ticket prices are a fraction of those at larger venues, with subscription packages available for discounts of up to 43 percent. Series packages for new subscribers go on sale Aug. 15; tickets for all individual shows go on sale August 21. (Current subscribers may renew now.) Unless otherwise noted, tickets for musicals are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $16 for students and children; tickets for plays are $18, $16, and $14. (There is a small surcharge for processing of orders.) Orders may be placed by calling the box office at 609-570-3333, by mail, or online (starting Aug. 21). For a complete listing of adult and children’s events, visit the Kelsey website or call the box office for a brochure.
The season kicks off Sept. 8 to 17 as PinnWorth Productions presents the Tony Award-winning musical “Memphis,” set in 1950s Tennessee at the dawn of the rock music revolution. (Tickets are $20 for all.) Next up is a romantic tale that will tickle your funnybone and touch your heart as The Yardley Players present Neil Simon’s “Barefoot in the Park” Sept. 22 to Oct. 1.
First in October is “Sleuth,” a delicious cat-and-mouse murder mystery presented by Maurer Productions OnStage Oct. 6 to 15. A special event follows with The Pennington Players’ “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” a musical based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from Disney’s animated film, Oct. 20 to 29. (Tickets are $20 for all.)
In November, there are lessons to be learned about love and kindness in “Dogfight,” presented by Pierrot Productions Nov. 3 to 12. This moving rock musical about a Vietnam veteran readjusting to civilian life boasts a score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul of “La La Land” and “Dear Evan Hansen” fame. (This show is not recommended for children.)
The mood turns wondrously festive with Irving Berlin’s timeless “White Christmas,” presented by M & M Stage Productions Nov. 17 to Dec. 3. Other family events for the holiday season are “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” presented by The Kelsey Players Dec. 8 to 10 and “The Nutcracker,” a performance by New Jersey Youth Ballet Dec. 15 to 17.
The music continues in 2018 with another blockbuster of Broadway and film. Presented by PinnWorth Productions Jan. 5 to 21, the title cannot be announced quite yet. Let’s just say, “Something’s coming, something good!” (Tickets are $20 for all.) Next up is a comic adaptation of a 1930s hit film. Ken Ludwig’s “Twentieth Century,” about romance aboard a train bound for Boston, will be presented by Theater To Go Jan. 26 to Feb. 4. The whole family will enjoy “HONK! The Musical,” based on The Ugly Duckling fable by Hans Christian Andersen, presented by The Yardley Players Feb. 9 to 18, with a special daytime performance for groups Feb. 16.
The mood stays light with another Ken Ludwig comedy. “Moon Over Buffalo” moves at a hilariously frenetic pace as two fading stars take one last shot at keeping their careers afloat. It’s presented by M & M Stage Productions Feb. 23 to Mar. 4.
There’s more music in store in March as Reock & Roll Revue returns to Kelsey with a new tribute concert. “NO ANGEL -The Life and Music of Gregg Allman” is an all-new concert that will be performed for two shows only, Mar. 10 and 11. Get your tickets early for this one! (Tickets are $25 for all.)
Next up is a turn to classic Broadway at its best, as Maurer Productions OnStage presents “Fiddler on the Roof,” Mar. 16 to 25. Tevye and his life in the little Russian town of Anatevka combine music and dance in a poignant story of tradition and change. Fast forward to modern Broadway for the coming-of-age rock sensation “Spring Awakening,” to be performed by MCCC Theatre/Dance students April 6 to 15. (This show is not recommended for children.)
A huge special event follows as the Broadway musical “Titanic” sails onto the Kelsey stage. Playful Theatre Productions presents the epic tale of the doomed ship and its passengers April 20 to 29. (Tickets are $20 for all.)
May brings dance to the Kelsey stage with the Mercer Dance Ensemble’s “Escapades,” featuring students, faculty, alumni and community dancers two concerts only, May 5 and 6.
For anyone who loves dogs and has ever considered filling their empty nest with one, “Sylvia,” presented Forte Dramatic Productions May 11 to 19, will hit just the right touching and amusing notes. Emotions of a darker sort are on display in “Glengarry Glen Ross,” as ruthless real estate salesmen battle for supremacy by lying and cheating. David Mamet’s modern classic is presented by The Pennington Players May 25 to June 3.
The season closes out in June on two comic notes. “Disaster! A Musical” is a send-up of a string of 1970s disaster movies featuring some classic rock hits and unforgettable fashions from the era, as told by Pierrot Productions June 8 to 17. And last, but certainly never least, is Shakespeare ’70s return to the Kelsey Theatre with “The Merry Wives of Windsor” June 22 to July 1.
In addition to “Twas The Night Before Christmas” and “The Nutcracker,” the Kelsey Kids Series features five shows to be presented by traveling professional companies: “Pinocchio,” presented by Virginia Rep on Tour on Oct. 7; “Disney’s Frozen The Movie-Play-Along,” presented by Theater To Go on Nov. 4; “Goldilocks & The 3 Bears,” presented by Kaleidoscope Theatre on Mar. 3; “Junie B. Jones,” presented by Theatreworks/USA on April 28; and “The Cat in The Hat,” presented by Theatreworks/USA on June 2.
Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater.
Theater/Organization The Kelsey Theatre
Theater/Organization Website: http://www.kelseytheatre.net
Theater/Organization Address: 1200 Old Trenton Rd. West Windsor, New Jersey 08550 (Map It)
Theater/Organization Phone: (609) 570-3333